Karachi, March 09, 2015 (PPI-OT): President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, while expressing sheer dismay over government’s attitude towards resolving the issues being faced by business community of Karachi, warned of repercussions if policymakers continue to exhibit laxity towards various issues being highlighted by KCCI which is the largest chamber of the country and represents the mainstream of economic and trading activities.
In a statement issued, Iftikhar Vohra pointed out that dozens of letters, followed by reminders were sent to various Ministers, particularly Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Tariq Bajwa and others. They all were requested to visit KCCI so that some of the most pressing issues could be discussed in detail with a view to look for their resolution but unfortunately none of them have bothered to visit KCCI which is a matter of grave concern.
“These Ministers have plenty of time to spend at talk shows of various TV Channels in order to give political statements, make tall claims, blame and confront their opponents but they have no time for listening to business community’s grievances”, President KCCI criticized, adding that the Karachi Chamber, which represents majority of Karachi city’s business and industrial committee, was constantly being ignored.
“During my personal visit to Islamabad from time to time, I have been requesting senior ministers to at least listen to the problems of business community by visiting the Chamber and they assure to do so but never show up at KCCI which clearly indicates their unwillingness to face the business community of Karachi or take them on board.
He pointed out that Karachi city receives step-motherly treatment, suffers discrimination and arm-twisting tactics while all discretionary powers have been bestowed to various departments in order to further squeeze the loyal taxpayers of Karachi city only. Iftikhar Vohra said that Karachi Chamber has been receiving dozens of complaints every day pertaining to taxation issues, poor law and order situation, electricity, water and gas crisis, infrastructure issues and many other issues affecting the local businesses.
KCCI, which represents more than 21,000 direct members and 50,000 indirect members, has been trying its best to approach the high-ups in Islamabad in order to get these issues resolved and look for ways and means of how to improve the overall situation but it was very discouraging that the concerned ministers were neither interested nor available to assist the business community.
He said that despite extremely unconducive business environment, the business and industrial community of Karachi city was trying its best to stay afloat but lack of will to listen to and resolve various issues has put the business community in a very confusing situation. He said that business community of Karachi, which contributes more than 67 percent revenue to the national kitty, was capable enough to pull the country out of ongoing economic crisis but that can only be done if the government extends full support.
President KCCI said that the Karachi Chamber will make one last attempt to get their attention by writing final letters to various Federal Ministers. The business and industrial community of Karachi was losing its patience and any failure to respond to KCCI’s request would leave no other option for them but to go for repercussions.
Furthermore, President KCCI informed that the Karachi Chamber also plans to invite all heads political parties at KCCI in order to get their consensus on one-point agenda i.e. to devise and implement ‘Charter of Economy’, which was the only solution to the ills being faced by Pakistan nowadays, he added.
He was of the view that the current state of affairs demand to introduce and implement Charter of Economy, an idea floated by Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli some five to six years ago which all political parties must sign and implement.
“To recover the ailing economy, the Government should constitute Charter of Economy”, President KCCI urged, adding that the entire nation was in a dire need to constitute the proposed Charter of Economy or roadmap in consultation with the business and industrial community and endorsed by all political parties.
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Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
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